Number Three: Skill Set
When you directly compare Zack Baun and Kiko Alonso, their physical stature is somewhat similar.
Their playstyle on the other hand is completely different. Other than the fact that they are both very physical and hard-hitting linebackers, they each bring a unique skill set that the other one lacks.
Kiko Alonso is more of a pass-defending linebacker, but even he’s struggled in that field in recent years which could dampen his stock.
In 2019, Alonso allowed a completion percentage of over 77 percent to receivers he was guarding. Aside from his strong tackling abilities (which could still be utilized well in various special teams roles), Alonso doesn’t really offer much to the Saints defense.
Zack Baun can pretty much do it all. Baun is well known for his pass-rushing abilities but also has solid coverage skills as well. In three seasons at Wisconsin, Baun tallied 152 tackles, 30.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, three forced fumbles, four passes defended, and two interceptions.
In 2019, the only player in college football who had more sacks than Baun was the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Chase Young, the draft’s top EDGE rusher.
Saints fans should be extremely excited about the addition of Zack Baun, especially in the third round of the Draft. He’s coming from pass rush university — the same school that helped coach JJ Watt and TJ Watt and look at what they’ve become.
Baun edges Alonso in every category and I fully expect him to be the week one starter this season.